Amal Clooney Condemns Russia's War Crimes: "Ukraine Is A Slaughterhouse"

Amal Clooney, George Clooney's wife, urged the United Nations to focus on international justice for war crimes in Ukraine.

Clooney's wife, a well-known human rights lawyer,  pointed out that the UN should act so that "evidence does not sit in storage  - as it has done for victims of Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria."

"Ukraine is today a slaughterhouse. Right in the heart of Europe, " Amal Clooney said at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on accountability in Ukraine, organized by France and Albania.

In her speech, Amal Clooney recalled a 2017 UN Security Council vote on the creation of a United Nations team to collect and store evidence of possible international crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

"My children are now almost 5, and so far most of the evidence collected by the U.N. is in storage – because there is no international court to put ISIS on trial,"  the human rights lawyer said.

"Here we are faced with the evidence of crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and mounting evidence each day of the crime of genocide," she added.

"How did we get here? I believe we got here by ignoring justice for so long. For too long, we have watched as perpetrators of mass human rights abuses have murdered, tortured, and raped without consequence," Amal Clooney continued, giving Yemen and Myanmar as examples.

George Clooney's wife is part of an international legal task force advising Ukraine on securing accountability for Ukrainian victims in national jurisdictions and working with the Hague-based ICC.

The meeting where she urged the UN to do something about Russian war crimes in Ukraine was focused on how Russia will be held accountable for its actions in Ukraine, as Russian soldiers have been accused of killing civilians, abducting children, and raping.
Amal Clooney Condemns Russia's War Crimes
Amal Clooney Says Russia Should Be Held Accountable

Amal Clooney says countries have committed war crimes because they thought they would go unpunished. She also pointed out that the international community must continue to rally behind Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for war crimes so that the issue is not ignored as in other conflicts.

"What worries me as I sit here today is that the resolute action we have seen in the first 50 days of this war will turn out to be the high point instead of the starting point of the legal and diplomatic response" from the world, Clooney said according to The Hill.

"Could it be that thousands of children are being forcibly deported to Russia? Are teenage girls being raped in the street in front of their families and neighbors? Was a building that had the word 'children' painted on it bombed? Are civilians in Mariupol being systematically starved and tortured to death? Unfortunately, the answer is yes", Amal Clooney said.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), which handles war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and crimes of aggression, has no jurisdiction because Iraq and Syria are not members. As about Russia's crime in Ukraine, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation a week after Russia's February 24 invasion.

"This is a time when we need to mobilize the law and send it into battle. Not on the side of Ukraine against the Russian Federation, or on the side of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, but on the side of humanity," Karim Khan told a UN meeting on Wednesday.

Russian War Crimes In Ukraine

Recently, Ukraine's Attorney General's Office, Iryna Venediktova, told Reuters that it was preparing war crimes charges against at least seven Russian soldiers, including three Russian pilots suspected of bombing civilian buildings in the Kharkiv and Sumi regions.

Russian soldiers are also accused of hundreds of rape cases in Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities documented 400 allegations of sexual violence, including rape, by Russian soldiers within two weeks. They did that to women, girls, children, old people, and men, Ukraine’s Human Rights Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova reported.

"The first is that the rapists are young people aged 20-25. That is, those who grew up on Putin’s rule, on his propaganda. This is the first (notable feature). And the second is that they do it publicly. It’s done necessarily in front of other people and groups so that others can see how the rape victim is degraded," she said.

Ombudsman also said that Russian soldiers will often target families to deliberately break them, providing an example of two sisters.

"We have evidence that she is 25 years old and her sister is 16," the official said.

"They hold the 25-year-old down, she is screaming, begging, on her knees: ‘Don’t do this to my sister, do this to me!’ And the other two (Russians) do whatever comes to mind with her younger sister. Both of them need help."

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